Strategic Planning Web Sites
Hayes, Suzi, Information Outlook
Since this issue of Information Outlook focuses on strategic planning and how chapters and divisions can use SLA's strategic plan as the basis for their own, the place to start this column is with samples of some existing plans. The Special Libraries Association's Strategic Plan is online at http://www.sla.org/assoc/slaplan.html. Three chapters, as of this writing, represent examples of unit plans. There may be other units that printed their plans in an issue of their bulletin which is posted on their Web page, but there was no obvious link to them. The chapters are Cincinnati (http://www.sla.org/chapter/ccin/chapterinfo/strategic-plan.html), Rhode Island (http://acad.bryant.edu/~wanger/plan.html), and San Andreas (http://www.san-andreas-sla.org/, then follow links to "more information," then "archives.") As other unit plans are developed or revised, we hope to see them on Web pages as well.
The remaining locations mentioned in this article are more about the planning process rather than sample plans. The various search engines used to find information on strategic planning produced hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of potential hits. Many of these were commercial sites selling various types of management consulting services. They turned up because I thought it would be interesting to include references to games or other types of learning tools that would facilitate the process of preparing a strategic plan, and structured the search query in that direction. However, most hits in this category were single pages that amounted to little more than an advertisement with an address and telephone number, so they are not included in this column.
So the sites that are described below are more robust. As you will see, most of the references are directed at nonprofit organizations, rather than at businesses who have a different type of mission than does SEA.
A description of what strategic planning is all about and the basic steps for creating a plan can be found in the "Nonprofit FAQ" (frequently asked questions) sponsored by the Evergreen State Society (http://www.nonprofitinfo.org/npofaq/index.html). This is a good place to check if you don't have access to any of the books reviewed elsewhere in this issue. The replies to these frequently asked questions are in a section called "Nonprofit Board & Management." Another section called "Nonprofit Organizations and the Internet" is also interesting; although not directly related to planning - it lists state nonprofit agencies, National Public Radio broadcasts, and a conference calendar. The sponsoring society for this site is in the state of Washington, but most of the information has universal appeal.
Another site with FAQs that is somewhat more in depth than the one above is the Nonprofit GENIE - Global Electronic Nonprofit Information Express (http://www.supportcenter.org/sf/spgenie.html). The unique FAQ here is one that deals with planning retreats: their benefits and drawbacks. There is also discussion of mission/vision statements and annual operating plans. Some of the other sections of this site from the Support Centers of America mention publications and fundraising tips that might be of interest to chapters and divisions.
The Management Center's Web site (http://www.tmcenter.org) provides connections to resources in nonprofit management. …